The rain that started yesterday evening became a storm overnight and, although the worst had passed by the time I woke, I still got drenched packing the tent. On this kind of expedition, where 99% of the time is spent under the open sky, the weather tends to be a defining feature of most days – today was no different. There was low cloud cover and moisture seeped into everything, before long I was soaked, my clothes plastered to my skin. It made for uncomfortable riding, but a least it wasn’t cold.
I was on the road early, to make one last push toward Larvik, and the evening ferry to Denmark. The first 50 miles were tough, as I cut through the last range of mountains before the coast. I don’t mind climbing: 9 times out of 10 the view more than makes up for the effort, but today all I saw was cloud, tarmac, and the odometer slowly ticking the miles off.
When I finally left the hills behind be, and dropped down to the river that I would follow to the coast, I fell bellow the cloud cover. The miles came easier, and soon enough I arrived in , and made my way to the port. I had a couple of hours to kill before the ferry departed, and had hoped to find a café so I might get out of the rain – there was nothing. Fortunately the rain eased, and I was fairly dry by the time I set sail for Denmark at 5.30.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Norway: the grandeur and timelessness of the scenery paired with the genuine hospitality of the people made it an unforgettable experience. The rest of Europe certainly has a hard act to follow. I left the country with a sense of elation however – after pedaling 1700 miles south, I have now crossed two countries by bicycle. Upon arrival in Denmark, I was immediately struck by two things: firstly how flat it is, and secondly that the sun was setting! Over the last few days in Norway I think the sun set at around the same time, but thick cloud prevented me from making direct observation. In Hirtshals however, clear skies abound, and I write this from a cliff overlooking the shore, watching the sun sink below the waves. Another country awaits.